"one of the most influential and innovative literary stylists of the past hundred years": First Edition of Knut Hamsun's Vagabonds; In the Rare Original dust jacket




Item Number: 122177

New York: Coward-McCann, 1930.

First edition in English of the first novel in the Nobel Prize-winning author’s “August” trilogy—Hamsun’s magnum opus. Octavo, original cloth. Near fine in the rare original dust jacket which is in near fine condition.

Vagabonds' first chapter is "a masterpiece" in evoking the loss of innocence and the perils of modernity (Ferguson, 290). It also introduces the trilogy's protagonist, August, one of Hamsun's most enduring figures. "What makes Hamsun more than just a good storyteller and a superb stylist are his insights into the 'almost imperceptible movements of the soul' and his sense of the mystery of life" (Wintle, New Makers). Yet controversy continues over Hamsun's role in the Nazi occupation of Norway and his meetings with Hitler and Goebbels. To his biographer, "what can be safely said of him is that he was a great writer, and his contribution to the art of writing has been enormous" (Ferguson, 422). First edition, first issue: copyright page with no statement of edition or printings; copies found with colophon or without colophon (this copy), no priority established. Copyright date of "Oct. 29, 1930" (Catalogue of Copyright Entries. New Series 1:11842).

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